Post No.3

Sai Ram once again and hope all is well with you all!!!

Its the first day (9th March 2013) at Puttaparthi and I had finally entered Prasanthi Nilayam around lunchtime.
It has not changed much, since I last visited in 2008. Energywise, I mean!
Yes, there are structural changes. The Ganesh Gate has two gates now. One for entering and one for leaving. They have built a small building to the left as you enter, where you are body checked and you go through a metal detector. Simular to the ones you go through as you enter Sai Kulwant Hall. So security is still there, even though Swami is not in physical body.
 As I couldn't use a camera, I have nothing to show you. So I will keep this brief.
 Did my pranams and circumbulations to Lord Ganesh and went to the North Indian Canteen (my prefered place to eat) for lunch.
 Afterwards, walked around the place, slowly taking in all the energy that emanates from this Divine Abode of Peace.
 Noticed a few changes here and there.
 I walked past Sai Kulwant Hall at the time when they were putting up the decorations for Maha Shivaratri the next day.
 Everything was so peaceful!!! 
 People were just sitting, walking, talking etc in a non-hurried atmosphere. Quite a change since last time I was here for Maha Shivaratri in 2004. No queues to be seen anywhere! Even to go into Sai Kulwant Hall! Quite surprising in a way. As the last time I was here, you needed to arrive hours beforehand just to line up... to get in.
Well it is the day before, I suppose, so I was expecting it will be like that when the masses arrive the next day.
So after spending a couple of hours soaking it all in,
I felt the need to go back to the hotel for a rest before going to my first darshan, late in the afternoon.
  I was still at that stage contemplating moving from the hotel and residing in the Ashram.
Yet, another part of me didn't really like the idea of staying in the sheds.
(You are usually allocated to the sheds, if you are on your own)
 I have stayed in the sheds on many trips of past, with many wonderful memories of the times there.
Last time, I was here at Prasanthi for Maha Shivaratri in 2004, I stayed in the last shed furthest from the Sai Kulwant Hall. D2, I think? It took at least 15 minutes to walk to Darshan from there.
At that time, I awoke at 3.00am in the morning of Maha Shivaratri, knowing full well, any later, I would not be able to get into the Hall. To my utter surprise, there was a long queue already up to where the sheds are situated, going all the way back to the Hall itself. Must of been a mile long!!!
I thought OH NO!! I won't be able to get in. I should of lined up earlier, even midnight!
All this way from Australia and I blew it!!!
But after many hours later, I got in. Just!
  Sai Ram Swami!   

Maha Shivaratri
18th February 2004 

Anyway back to 2013.
 It had dawned on me soon after, the desire to video record some of the events, that I presumed, were going to happen outside in the village the next day.
I brought my video camera with me on this trip, so I may as well use it!
What! I had no idea. 
So, I decided, I was not going to move anywhere. 
Just to stay put!
It was really the perfect place as a base camp.

The rest of the group had also decided to stay at the hotel, except the Sai Brother who initiated this whole trip. 
 He went to stay in the sheds. 

After a short rest, headed off again for evening darshan.
No queues again! Just leave your footwear in the usual designated area and walk in.
It was the first time that I had seen Swami's Maha Samadhi up close, except on some video's I had viewed in past.
Not the same is it!
The hall was quite full when I arrived, so I was about three quarters away back in the hall. But I had a clear view of everything.
The Veda chanting by the students had already started.
What can I say!
Truly Divine! Heaven on earth! 
Swami is there! The energy is just the same. Swami is sitting in His chair!
No need to explain!!!
After the Vedas were finished, the students from SSSIHL, presented a
 Musical Dance Presentation entitled ‘Sri Rudra Vijayam’
Wonderful Performance!!!
Lord Sai Shiva would of been pleased.

Here's a link from 'The Prasanthi Reporter' that shows you all about this:

 Sri Rudra Vijayam on Maha Shivaratri Eve

(Photo from Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana Trust)

Note: An announcement was also made earlier by Prof. Anil Kumar that no line-up for pranams at the Maha Samadhi will occur that evening..
Due to all the preparations etc for Maha Shivaratri, I guess?

After the presentation, Arati was performed and we all quietly left the hall.
Then I went for dinner at the Western Canteen, this time.

Afterwards, visited the Mother Gayatri and Laxmi Temples, just as they were giving out prasad.
 Thankyou Swami!

Here's a picture of Mother Gayatri in the Temple at Prasanthi taken awhile ago, with also a video, I made years back.

If your interested, I visited Puttaparthi in 2006 and also filmed many a happening, while I was there.
You can see this all on my other blog site at:






“O Mother ! Who subsists in all the three kaalas (Time: Past, Present and Future),
in all the three lokas (Lokas: Heaven, Earth and Lower Regions)
and in all the three gunas (Gunas- Attributes: Sathwa, Rajas and Thamas),
I pray to Thee, to illumine my intellect and dispel my ignorance just as
the splendrous sunlight dispels all darkness.
I pray to Thee to make my intellect serene and bright and enlightened”.

 “Remember. Gayatri is a treasure you must guard throughout your life.
Never give up the Gayatri; you may give up or ignore any other mantra, but,
you should recite it at least a few times a day.
It will protect you from harm, wherever you are,
in a bus or car, or a railway station or plane, in a bazaar or on the road.
Brahma-prakasa, the effulgence of Brahma, will descend on you
and illumine your Intellect and light your Path when this mantra is chanted.
Gayatri is Annapurna, the Mother, the Sakthi that animates life.
So do not neglect it”. – Sathya Sai Baba

It was getting quite late in the evening.
So, I headed back to the hotel, looking forward very much for the
momentous occasion of Maha Shivaratri the next day.
This was the main reason I came!!!

Post No.4